Aldona

SAINT THOMAS CHURCH

Fourth Centenary Celebrations

In the December 1995 issue of Youth and You, part of Voice of St. Thomas, the parish newsletter, editor , Melvyn Misquita warned that preparations for the grand arrival must be balanced with an awareness of the spiritual significance of the event. He wr ites : ” That an external glitter, gaiety and splendour is always associated with such an event is beyond doubt, but welcoming the spiritual arrival of the fourth centenary celebrations is and must be accepted as central. Then only will our joy of bei ng privileged to participate in this arrival seem meaningful. This I believe, along with our ancestors, constituted the main reason to welcome and embrace the arrival of Christianity four hundred years ago.”

Church History and Legends.

The Church of St. Thomas remains an awe inspiring presence in the village of Aldona ( est pop. 7000) It was built in 1596 on a high plateau on the banks of the Mapu sa River. A flight of broad steps cut into a cliff and lead to an open plain that surrounds the grand white building.

Inside, the Church is ornately decorated by symbolic biblical murals and grand statues.

The treasures of the church are the subject of a village legend. At one time, the statues of the church were strung with jewellery by villagers as thanks for prayers answered. but Church were often robbed for these jewels.

One night, a band of thieves crossed the river into Aldona to rob the Church. At the base of the hill, a young boy appeared to the group’s leader and cautioned him not to proceed. The thiev es ignored the boy and entered the Church. As they forced open a chest of valuables, the church bells began to ring. Some of the thieves drowned in the river trying to escape. The leader and some others were captured. When the leader was taken past the m ain altar, he identified the statue of St. Thomas as the boy he had seen earlier — who warned him not to rob the Church.

Upkeep of the Church.

Please send your donations to:
Fr. Jose Roque Gonsalves
St. Thomas Church
Aldona, Bardez
Goa, INDIA 403508
Ph: (0832) 293352

Acknowledgements:

Fr. Jose Roque Gonsalves.
Edwin De Souza, edesouza@wpo.borland.com,Internet
Marlon Menezes
Luis Ferrao
Ida D’Souza.
Patricia D’Souza

This web page was made possible by the Sponsorship of the following:

Victor and Gloria Fernandes, Mississauga, Canada.
Dominic and Rose De Souza, Brampton, Canada.
Leo and Joanita Ferrao, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada.

John J. D’Souza, GOACOM